Jan 31 - The following are the top stories on the business
pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these
stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
ZYNGA BUYS BRITISH GAME MAKER NATURALMOTION FOR $527 MILLION
Zynga, which is known as much for its struggles as a public
company as for its hits such as Farmville, will acquire
NaturalMotion, the company behind hit mobile games such as
Clumsy Ninja for $527 million.
BUSINESS LENDING CHANNELS 'DAMAGED', SAYS BCC, AS NET
Business lending fell in December, Bank of England data
showed on Thursday, in what business groups described as proof
that corporate funding channels were "damaged". Net lending to
non-financial firms declined 1.9 billion pounds in December,
following November's sharp drop of 4.6 billion pounds, which
represented the biggest fall since records began in 2011.
SANTANDER UK STOCK MARKET FLOTATION 'WILL NOT HAPPEN IN
Santander UK will await clarification on new
rules relating to capital levels and the "ringfencing" of
banking business before it goes ahead with a flotation of its UK
arm. The long-awaited listing of the UK business - first mooted
in 2010 - has been deemed a medium-term prospect by the
Spanish-based bank and is not expected to take place this year.
BARCLAYS TO CUT HUNDREDS OF JOBS
Hundreds of jobs are being lost at Barclays under
changes in its corporate banking division, it has been
announced. Around 400 posts will go, and the Unite union said a
further 120 were being placed at risk this year.
ASTRAZENECA TURNS ITS BACK ON "DISEASES OF THE POOR"
AstraZeneca has abandoned any scientific effort to
search for new medicines to tackle many of the world's deadliest
diseases by shutting down its drug discovery work into neglected
tropical diseases, tuberculosis and malaria. Britain's
second-largest drugs company has decided that infectious
diseases are "not a priority" as Pascal Soriot, its chief
executive, cuts costs and scrambles to halt a slide in profits.
SFO SEEKS 19 MILLION POUNDS EMERGENCY CASH AS TCHENGUIZ PUTS
PRESSURE ON FUNDING
The Serious Fraud Office has asked Parliament for an
emergency cash injection of 19 million pounds in order that it
can continue with blockbuster investigations and clean up
bungled cases. The white collar crime-fighting agency said that
it needed the money before the end of March to finance
investigations into Libor-rigging, alleged bribery by
Rolls-Royce in Asia and Barclays' dealings with the Qatari
Government in 2008.
PRODUCT GROWTH HELPS BSKYB BEAT FORECASTS
Strong growth in on-demand and home communication products
helped BSkyB beat City forecasts despite growing
competition for pay-television viewers, the company said.
SERCO SHARES DOWN 17 PERCENT ON PROFIT WARNING
Troubled outsourcing firm Serco has seen its shares
drop 17 percent after it issued a profit warning. The company
said its 2014 profit may be 20 percent lower than market
forecasts, due to implementation of a business overhaul
following contract disputes with its biggest revenue stream, the